Re: [httpstreaming] [conex] [dispatch] Q-HTTP

Mikael Abrahamsson <> Thu, 11 November 2010 20:57 UTC

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Date: Thu, 11 Nov 2010 21:57:39 +0100 (CET)
From: Mikael Abrahamsson <>
To: Toby Moncaster <>
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Subject: Re: [httpstreaming] [conex] [dispatch] Q-HTTP
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On Thu, 11 Nov 2010, Toby Moncaster wrote:

> What has gone wrong for ISP business models is that the world has 
> changed, with streaming and interactive services overtaking bulk 
> transfer and web browsing. ConEx may at times appear to be operator 
> centric, but in many places it is the customers that are suffering 
> because ISPs are forced to use pretty crude mechanisms to try and 
> control the small percentage of heavy users. Clearly everyone must 
> benefit if background bulk data transfers move to something like LEDBAT?

No, it's only the ISP that benefits. How do you move users to LEDBAT, 
what's the incentive for any user to move their traffic there? To give 
them an incentive, you must get off the flat fee model and start to cap 
monthly traffic that is not LEDBAT.

So if you're getting off the flat fee model, why not start charging users 
per usage or have a monthly cap with tokens to raise the cap or buy 
additional "credits"? It's non-discrimatory, and it's completely 
transparent as to what is going on. No secret in-the-black-box 
mistreatment or prioritization based on L4 information.

> There is also the issue of fair allocation of upgrades. Obviously if an 
> ISP spends a lot of money on increasing their backhaul then this money 
> has to come from the customers. However as things stand the 20% of 
> customers grabbing 80% of the network will also grab 80% of this 
> increased capacity, so they are being even more heavily 
> cross-subsidised. Clearly cross-subsidy is always going to happen to an 
> extent so long as you have flat fees for access (even if you put in 
> tiered fees, there is still cross-subsidy). But this should not be 
> excessive else customers suffer.

With global transit prices in the few dollars per megabit/month, the 
actual bandwidth cost per user even if they averaged 1 megabit/s/user at 
peak, is still not a major cost for the service which usually is in the 
several tens of dollars per month.

I don't buy any of the arguments I've seen in the discussion, they're not 
new, and they're not technical or economical, they're purely political and 
regulatory when you boil it down to the actual reasons for how things are 
what they are.

Mikael Abrahamsson    email: